Mobile App Takes On Gift Cards

Hoping to upend the business of pre-paid gift cards, a new mobile app offers an easy way to buy last-minute gifts. Named Karma, The Next Web’s Brad McCarty calls it “a unique twist to gift-giving, and it’s one that I can actually see myself using.” Why? “I’m the freaking worst when it comes to remembering to snag something, so Karma should help to alleviate the consequences of my forgetful nature,” he explains.

The team behind Karma just raised about $4.5 million from Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins and Obvious – all of whom are surely aware of the $100 billion that U.S. consumers current spend in pre-paid gift cards. What’s more, “Last-minute gifting is the place where gift cards hold their strongest position,” notes McCarty.

Once users have logged in to Karma, via Facebook or Twitter, they can scroll through their contacts, and then choose from various gift partners from which they can choose. Current partners include Jawbone, Netflix, Pandora, and Spotify. The service also offers message options for birthdays, special occasions, congratulations or even something as simple as “tough day.”

 


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Tags: apps, mobile
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1 comment about "Mobile App Takes On Gift Cards".
  1. Noah Liberman from symmetri marketing group , February 28, 2012 at 3:08 p.m.
    The romantic in me doesn't like the idea of the casualness of a digital gift card, especially for something like a "bad day." "Your boss yelled at you? Aw. Here's a $10 Bass Pro Shop digital gift card." But the Facebook/Twitter angle is intriguing. Can you or the recipient specify whether the gift notice appears on your wall or as a tweet? It would be neat to be able to get a note from someone and keep it permanently and privately as part of your timeline. Which makes me wonder: why hasn't Facebook (or has it?) partnered with an eCard company to make eCard posting a huge thing? You send the card, someone receives it and decides whether to make it public or not. A bit of a Pinterest thing going on there...